Hubbard wrote a number of books about dianetics and it has been the subject of a substantial number of articles in scientological publications. Before discussing dianetics in the light of the evidence placed before the Board some excerpts from the books all articles written by Hubbard can conveniently be referred to for an idea of the fanciful claims which Hubbard made for it.
The word "dianetics" is said to be "a term employed to embrace the science of thought and including a family of subsciences by which the individual collective activities of mankind may be understood and bettered".
Hubbard writes that dianetics is "a sub-subject of scientology and covers the anatomy of the mind rather than the brain"; it is "that branch of scientology that covers mental anatomy"; it is "a form of science of thought applicable to psychosomatic ills and individual aberrations". Its purpose is "to pass man across the abyss of irrational, solely reactive thought and to enter a new stage of constructive progression to the ultimate goal."
The goal of dianetics is "a world without insanity, without criminals and without war". It looks for a simpler course to the achievement of its aims than through the conventional therapies. In Science of Survival, which was first published in l95l, Hubbard wrote
"It took four to twelve years to get an inkling of these [conventional] therapies and all evidence to hand, carefully compiled, shows that they do not work, that the problems of criminality, insanity and war still remained, with these systems of 'therapy' far out of control."He then claimed that dianetics was a simpler solution, which did not require twelve years of schooling and practice to learn, but which provided "an understanding of life, man, and mind operation which could resolve the 19,000,000 insane, our millions of criminals, and international madness".
Dianetics is, wrote Hubbard in Dianetics: MSMH,
"actually a family of sciences .... With the techniques presented in this handbook the psychiatrist, psycho-analyst and intelligent layman can successfully and invariably treat all psychosomatic ills and inorganic aberrations. More importantly, the skills offered in this handbook will produce the dianetic clear, an optimum individual with intelligence considerably greater than the current normal, or a dianetic release, an individual who has been freed from his major anxieties or illnesses. The release c an be done in less than twenty hours of work and is a state superior to any produced by several years of psycho-analysis, since the release will not relapse."The principal books on dianetics are Dianetics: MSMH, Science of Survival, and Dianetics 1955. These books contain an exposition of the principles of dianetics and instructions for the practice of dianetic therapy as well as a large number of instances of the alleged beneficial application of dianetics. Fundamental to dianetics is "survival", towards which all activity should be directed. "The dynamic principle of existence is "survive!". The first axiom is: survive. "We do not know", writes Hubbard, "to what end we are surviving and in our field of the knowable and in our choice of only the workable axioms we do not know and have no immediate reason to ask why".
Survival, considered as a single and sole purpose, is said by Hubbard to subdivide into four dynamics.
"Dynamic One is the urge of the individual towards survival for the individual and his symbiotes. ['Symbiotes' means all energies and entities which aid survival.]
Dynamic Two is the urge of the individual towards survival through procreation; it includes both the sex act and the raising of progeny, the care of children and their symbiotes.
Dynamic Three is the urge of the individual towards survival for the group or the group for the group and includes the symbiotes of that group.
Dynamic Four is the urge of the individual towards survival for Mankind or the urge toward survival of Mankind for Mankind as well as the group for Mankind, &c., and includes the symbiotes of mankind."
The mind of an individual, so dianetics teaches, has really three parts. They are the analytical, the reactive and the somatic.
The analytical mind, sometimes referred to as the conscious mind, is that portion of the mind which perceives and retains experienced data to compose and resolve problems and directs the organism along the four dynamics. It thinks in differences and similarities.
The reactive mind is that portion of the mind which sites and retains pain and painful emotion and seems to direct the organism solely on a stimulus-response basis. It thinks only in identities.
The somatic mind is that mind which, directed by the analytical or reactive mind, places solutions into effect on the physical level.
Williams understood the "somatic mind" as a term used to describe
"that package of information or data appertaining to the automatic function of the body, and automatic responses of the body. The somatic mind, functionally, would include such things as the automatic heart beat and breathing and this sort of thing."In Dianetics: MSMH, Hubbard wrote that
"the hidden source of all psychosomatic ills and human aberrations has been discovered and skills have been developed for their invariable cure."The goal of dianetics being to cure psychosomatic illness and remove aberrations, dianetics was therefore dedicated to "running out" and so removing what Hubbard said was the cause of all the trouble, the engram. According to dianetics, psychosomatic ills are caused by engrams, the engram being the single source of psychosomatic ills and aberrations.
"The engram and only the engram causes aberrations and psychosomatic illnesses."Aberrations include all deranged or irrational behaviour. Moments of "unconsciousness", when the analytical mind is attenuated in a greater or lesser degree, are the only moments when engrams can be received. The engram is a moment of "unconsciousness" containing physical pain or painful emotion and all perceptions and is not available to the analytical mind as experience.
Hubbard declared that all psychosomatic illnesses,
"which constitute 70 per cent. of man's illnesses, can be positively cured by dianetic processing".This, he said, was effected by auditing the preclear or sufferer and thereby discovering and running out the engram. The source of the aberration was said to be the reactive mind which acted more or less irrationally and fed information to the conscious mind and body, without the knowledge or consent of the individual, save that sometimes the individual might perceive that he was acting irrationally in relation to some matter, but could not understand why. An individual, according to Hubbard, thus possessed two minds; the analytical mind, which is the conscious mind which becomes aware of things learned by actual experience and functions logically; and the reactive mind, which is the unconscious mind and which operates irrationally or irresponsibly and is the cause of all aberrations. The problems of life are complicated by the functioning of the reactive mind, and it is the cause of ill-health and mental troubles.
The reactive mind, so Hubbard claims, received engrams in the past. Initially, the "past" was earlier in the life of the individual concerned but quickly Hubbard propounded the theory that many engrams, perhaps most, were incurred in the prenatal period, i.e., during the pregnancy of the mother; and at this period the reactive mind of the unborn child became aware of events happening and words spoken at a time when it, the unborn child, received some injury, e.g. by the father hitting the mother in the stomach, or much more frequently by an injury received by the embryo or foetus during intercourse between the parents, the embryo being aware of and suffering injury and remembering such incidents and accompanying words from as early as eight days after conception. As these theories further developed, Hubbard claimed that engrams could be experienced by the individual even before conception! All of this, of course, is nonsense, and a large body of expert evidence was called to prove that it and much more fantastic theorising was nonsense, However, Hubbard, disdaining to admit such theories as fantasy, boldly asserts them to be scientifically proven facts.
An attempt was made by scientology witnesses at the Inquiry to show that dianetics is now, in effect, in abeyance, but that is clearly not so; it was the forerunner of scientology, and out of it scientology developed; and it is claimed by Hubbard that dianetics is part of scientology. Hubbard has consistently maintained that an understanding of his book, Dianetics: MSMH, is essential to an understanding of scientology, and he has repeatedly, right up to very recent times, directed that every effort be made to sell this book, a million copies, so he claims, having already been sold. Its present price is £2 3s. 6d.
In dianetics Hubbard considered that
"The entire physical pain and painful emotion of a lifetime, whether the individual 'knows' about it or not, is contained, recorded, in the engram bank. Nothing is forgotten. And all physical pain and painful emotion, no matter how the individual may think he has handled it, is capable of reinflicting itself upon him from this hidden level, unless that pain is removed by dianetic therapy."
Hubbard writes in Dianetics: MSMH,
" 'Dianetic therapy', may briefly be stated. Dianetics deletes all the pain from a lifetime. When the pain is erased in the engram bank and refiled as memory and experience in the memory banks, all aberrations and psychosomatic illnesses vanish, the dynamics are entirely rehabilitated and the physical and mental being regenerate".Hubbard claimed that in dianetics had been discovered the method of refiling pain and that
"wide awake and without drugs an individual can return to any period of his entire life providing his passage is not blocked by engrams".The technique or therapy is done by what is called "dianetic reverie", and is applied by an auditor, who
"directs the attention of the patient to the patient's self and then begins to place the patient in various periods of the patient's life merely by telling him to go there rather than remember. All therapy is done, not by remembering or associating, but by travel on the time track. Every human being has a time truck. It begins with life and it ends with death, It is a sequence of events from portal to portal as recorded".That many of the processes used in dianetics were hypnotic is evident both from their nature and their operation but Hubbard either ignores or denies this fact. In these processes the processing was towards clear, which was at the time said to be the optimum state attainable by man. In such a state, all illness and aberrations fell away. An intermediate stage was the release.
"In a release, the case is not progressed to the point of complete recall. In a clear, full memory exists throughout the lifetime, with the additional bonus that he has photographic recall in colour, motion, sound, &c., as well as optimum computational ability".Dianetics taught that past experiences were recorded,
"that the engram recording was probably done on the cellular level, that the engram bank was contained in the cells", that "the engram is a recording like the ripples in the groove of a phonograph record".Hubbard was emphatic in pointing out that what were impinged on the cell were not memories but actually prenatal engrams or recordings, and that these recording at a cellular level were capable of being made from the earliest stage of prenatal development onward; even at the zygote stage. The most prolific source of engrams was, so Hubbard considered, in the prenatal period, and his dianetic writings are cluttered to a degree which is obsessive with examples of how the prenatal engrams were experienced by the embryo, sometimes only a few days after conception, and by the foetus, as a result of violent assaults on or other physical injury to the mother, attempted abortions and intercourse which is often described as promiscuous. In Chapter 6, aspects of prenatal engrams and Hubbard's morbid preoccupation with abortion and sexual perversion are dealt with.
About 70 per cent. of the physician's "current roster of diseases", so Hubbard claims, falls into the category of psychosomatic illness. "Psychosomatic illnesses", Hubbard explained, "are those which have a mental origin but which are nevertheless organic". Hubbard writes,
"Arthritis, dermatitis, allergies, asthma, some coronary difficulties, eye trouble, bursitis, ulcers, sinusitis, &c., form a very small section of the psychosomatic catalogue. Bizarre aches and pains in various portions of the body are generally psychosomatic. Migraine headaches are psychosomatic and, with the others, are uniformly cured by dianetic therapy. (And the word cured is used in its fullest sense.)"
Last updated 21 February 1997
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